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Lupen Crook and the Murderbirds - Matthew's Magpie

  by Jamie Rowland

published: 9 / 11 / 2007

Lupen Crook and the Murderbirds - Matthew's Magpie
Label: Lupen Crook
Format: CDS


Riveting and hihgly experimental rock on new EP from the Medway-based Lupen Crook and the Murderbirds which promises much for their second album which is due out early next year

After an absence of around a year, Lupen Crook returns with a new release, and with his band (drummer Bob Langdridge, his brother Tom on bass and Chris Austin on electric guitar) finally being credited with the recognition they deserve. The first collection of songs to be released under Lupen Crook and the Murderbirds nom de plume is the ‘Matthew’s Magpie’ EP. The title track, a new, full-band recording of the song from Crook’s debut release, ‘Petal’s Fresh From Road Kill’, starts much the same as the original version, with Crook’s twelve string acoustic guiding us into the song, and Crook’s quietly malevolent vocals quietly crooning to the magpie of the title. After this introduction though, the Murderbirds come in, and the song becomes a stonking piece of rhythm-driven alternative rock, the bass line in particular is something to revel in, climbing all over the fret board in a slightly funky way. I am a huge fan of the original version of ‘Matthew’s Magpie’, and this version, though different, is equally brilliant. It’s also quite fantastic live, don’cha know. The five track EP is book-ended by two longer tracks, the title song and ’22 U and the SA-10 Sounds’ – the latter being a slight departure from the Murderbirds’ usual sound – a summery pop-style track (complete with a lovely little glochenspiel section), peppered with loops, samples and segments of distortion, and a lady contributor performing a strange nursery rhyme over the middle section. Between these two tracks are 3 short-lived but highly enjoyable pieces, ‘Miss Page, I Love You’, ‘Fine Start to MisDirection’ and ‘The Hardest Way Home’, the latter being my favourite, sounding like what The Ordinary Boys might sound like if they were much, much better and had some imagination. Essentially, though, the whole EP just sounds very, very Lupen Crook. This release is over quickly, and more's the pity, but it certainly whets your appetite for the album we’re promised in the New Year. Roll on 2008!

Track Listing:-
1 Matthew's Magpie
2 Miss Page, I Love You
3 The Hardess Way Home
4 22u And The Sa-10 Sounds

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